I remember how I mocked him in my mind because he was very much different compared to my other teachers. It was until the days before the championships when he said “Alam mo Ruby, mayabang ka…” (You know what, Ruby, you are proud!)
By Ruby Rossa Ty
Turning back in time, twenty-four years ago, when people were so busy protesting against Marcos’ dictatorship, on the first day of EDSA revolution, I was born.
I hardly knew my father because he had left us – my mother with my two brothers when I was four. From there, you’ll have an idea why I am like this now – an extrovert yet an introvert.
I was raised badly by my aunt. Why badly? Because there was no point in time that she was not angry with us. She would hurt us physically. However, she was very eager to teach me at a very young age. She taught me how to read and write, only in a hard way, but because of that, I already knew how to read English and write cursively when I was four, believe it or not.
I started schooling when I was four; I remember how excited I was to have my first set of books. At four, I was enrolled as Kindergarten II only as “saling ket-ket” (like a pet cat that would always follow). My teacher, Mrs. Yandok, however, saw how eager I was in studying so she let me graduate with a gold medal.
Ooops… I know you’re asking, “how about your mother?” Well, my mother was busy working day and night because we were three then… Imagine how hard it was for her to raise us all!
Many youth nowadays tend to be rebel due to a broken family, but with God’s help, I know I have not become one. My mother instilled in my heart that I should love my biological father though he is absent. I have this thought in my heart that someday, he will regret leaving us. And so what I did, also with my eldest cousin’s motivation, is to study hard, until I graduated from high school with the highest rank among the cream of the crops. Thanks be to God for that!
I am a strong-willed person. At least that was how Prof. Jane Abao, my teacher in journalism, used to describe me. While we were walking in town one time searching for a light bulb, she said I was very much a strong-willed person. I understood it first as a compliment. It was like, what Ruby likes, Ruby gets. I connected it to my being able to work while still a child.
In the last quarter before my high school graduation, some three months before that, I had a friend, and a teacher who introduced me to a new world – the world of “Ang Dating Daan.” It was from him that I learned a little about Bro. Eliseo Soriano of the Members Church of God International (MCGI). My teacher was preparing me for the championship of “Tagisan ng Talino” (academic competition) and every day, even Sunday, he taught us.
I remember how I mocked him in my mind because he was very much different compared to my other teachers. It was until the days before the championships when he said “Alam mo Ruby, mayabang ka…” (You know what, Ruby, you are proud!) With those words, I was deeply hurt. I felt so cold from head to toe.… And right there, he gave me a letter – a letter of encouragement and a diskette.
My teacher told me to study about General Information. But I was astounded with what the diskette contained – the teachings of Bro. Eli! From that diskette, I have read and realized that God, with His greatness and power, cannot do all things, because He is a God who cannot lie.
Also, I have read that God is not in all places because He is not a God of strife. I have also read about sugar and ants. That’s the very start why I became curious about Bro. Eli.
From then on, I would always ask my teacher about Bro. Eli. Also, my friends and I had an agreement that we – all four of us – would undergo indoctrination. But sad to say, they have left me. It was until the doctrine about the “kabawalan” or prohibitions in the Church of God.
I heard Bro. Eli preach that jewelries are not fit for women to wear so I removed my ring. Also, he taught that Christian women should not be wearing pants. It was good that I was wearing my school uniform because that was my only skirt that time. All I had were jeans and shorts. I was a hip-hop before trying to be a lad with a barber’s cut hair.
Knowing the truth and Bro. Eli, however, changed my whole outlook or perspective in life. He changed everything that was bad in me. And I am grateful to God and to Bro. Eli because of this. The rest is history.